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Neighboring Coops

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by RonEstrada, Nov 20, 2012.

  1. RonEstrada

    RonEstrada In the Brooder

    Sep 15, 2012
    I'm getting my first chickens next spring (I live in Michigan). I just discovered that my neighbors plan on doing the same! Pretty cool. But I was wondering if there would be a problem if we put our coops side-by-side in our unfenced yards. It would make helping each other out easier, but I didn't know if the chickens would react badly to such an arrangement. We don't plan to free range. They have seven dogs so no way. Thanks for any advice! Oh, and coop sharing is another possible idea, but I'm concerned about remaining "good neighbors" under such a plan.

  2. TXchickmum

    TXchickmum Songster

    Apr 21, 2012
    North Texas
    I would be more concerned about the fact that they have 7 dogs! You've stated that they won't be out of the coop, so I'm assuming they'll be confined (safely) to a sturdy run. If the dogs were to charge your coop/run or run around it continually, it could stress the chickens significantly (even if they couldn't actually get to the chickens). The chickens should be fine in close proximity to another flock if kept separate. Our neighbors have chickens as well. Our coops are on the same side of the lawns, but separated by a 6 ft. fence. -no issues, there.

    I wouldn't share a coop, personally. -could create issues.

    (We and our neighbors always exchange "chicken advice", lend a hand on backyard "chicken projects", pick up feed for one another when out and about, and enjoy the "chicken journey" together. We're blessed with great neighbors!) -best of luck on your endeavor into raising chickens!!! It is nice when the neighbors have a flock and/or are supportive of yours!!
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2012
    1 person likes this.
  3. canesisters

    canesisters Songster

    Aug 18, 2011
    I wouldn't want to have the coops real close unless you both share the same views on quarantining new birds.
    It would be tragic if some disease swept through both coops because one or the other brought home a new bird who was carrying something.
  4. RonEstrada

    RonEstrada In the Brooder

    Sep 15, 2012
    Good point on the dogs, though the only one that would be a problem is the boxer. I'll have enough trouble with my border terrier mix. He loves chasing critters. I may end up re-routing his invisible fence to bring peace to my flock.
  5. RonEstrada

    RonEstrada In the Brooder

    Sep 15, 2012
    And another good point! Yeah, no sense in losing both flocks to disease. Thanks for the advice. I was excited about my new venture before, but sharing it with my neighbors will be awesome. We get along well with them and their dogs (they rescue them, good-hearted folks).
  6. dreamcatcherarabians

    dreamcatcherarabians Songster

    Jul 29, 2010

    Good fences make good neighbors. I'd put my coop in an area that was easy for them to get to, but I'd fence their dogs away from my birds. And I'd fix it so my dog couldn't get to them. BTDT and it was expensive in loss of birds, emotional upset and it's just nicer to have 2 fences between the birds & dogs (their run counts for 1). I'd either fence around the run or put the fence between the 2 properties, but I'd have a safety buffer for sure.
  7. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    Lots of dogs. Will be difficult to keep them away from coops at all times. I would resign myself to training them not to harass birds. Long-term benefit could be protection from predators that may challenge your coop design.

    I keep most of my young birds free=range and adults are held in numerous rather flimsy pens. My dogs free-range with juveniles and have total access to perimeters of pens. I had to take steps to make so dogs do not harm birds and the dogs are now relied upon to protect all birds from predators which they do. Same dogs also interact with a neighbors chickens and water fowl providing neighbors flock a measure of protection as well. Neighbor is in process of training up a dog now. Result of this is an environemnt that is very hostile to predators but does not pose a risk to birds when dogs anf birds interact which eventually they will, through either failure of coops or your management of gates / doors. If dogs not trained, then ultimately you will be one of those parties saying "without a doubt chickens and dogs do not mix" and that simply means to me a lack of preparedness on your and your neighbor's part. You and your neighor have vested mutual interest in working dogs and bird confinement to protect birds. Your neighbor has a much bigger challenge than you with so many dogs. Do not let the dog breed dog lay down the law for you; I use German Pointers (very active bird dogs) as flock guardians and they do their job unsupervised as a pair. You will still have to operate within rules of your community concerning containment of poultry and dogs which may be much more restrictive than mine if you are in a less rural setting.

    I would avoid sharing a coop. Disease issue already mentioned. Another is too many hands in the kitchen makes more likely for over / under care or accidently leaving coop door open..
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2012

  8. Smoochie

    Smoochie Songster

    Sep 18, 2012
    Sounds like you are ready for a property fence. Dogs and chickens do not mix well.

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